The Best E-Bike Conversion Kits: Take Your Bike to the Next Level
These e-bike conversion kits will increase your speed, your distance, and your bike’s capability.
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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON July 20, 2021
Have you ever wished you could hit faster speeds on your bike without draining your energy and strength? Riding a bike is an awesome recreational activity whether you’re riding to get in a good workout or to seek out thrills on tough mountain trails. But you have to have the stamina — and the leg muscles — to climb hills, ride fast, and travel long distances. Unless, of course, you have an electric bicycle.
Fortunately, thanks to today’s technology, you can convert any old bike into an ebike. With an ebike conversion kit, you can add a motor, a rechargeable battery, and all kinds of new, electric features to your bicycle. It’s easy, and there are a wide number of kits to choose from. Discover our picks for some of the best ebike conversion kits right here.
Featuring a brushless motor kit and speed throttle, this comprehensive conversion kit is offered at a very reasonable price point.
- LCD display is bright and easy to read
- 1,000-watt motor is capable of up to 470 RPM
- Includes wiring harness and storage bag
- Doesn’t come with a battery or charger
- Color of connecting harness isn’t specified
A cost-effective way to improve your bike’s abilities, this e-bike conversion kit is designed for casual use and is a great entry point to the world of e-bikes.
- Comes at an affordable price point
- Designed to retrofit standard bikes
- Intuitive throttle controls
- Not compatible with coaster brake systems
- 250 watts isn’t a lot of power so it can struggle with steep hills
A rugged, yet lightweight and easy to install kit that will allow you to quickly convert your regular bicycle into an efficient and powerful electric bike.
- Works with your existing bike tire
- Easy to install on any standard bike frame
- You can choose either a half-twist or thumb throttle method of operation
- Wiring the motor can be complicated.
- Does not come with a battery, so you must purchase it separately, adding to the already somewhat pricey cost of this kit
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Benefits of E-Bike Conversion Kits
- Added biking power. The motors on e-bike conversion kits range in power from as low as 250 to wattage in the thousands. It takes some of the strain off of your legs, helping you pedal uphill with increased ease. A human biking can sustain about 0.35 horsepower units when biking. Even the lowest-powered models can add the equivalent 0.34 units to the equation, effectively doubling your efficiency.
- Reach impressive speeds. Especially if you commute via bicycle, then the added speed the conversion kit offers is truly desirable. Able to go up to 20 miles per hour, for class one and two bikes, you can shorten your travels significantly (and not be worn out at the end of your ride).
- Eco- and health-friendly choice. Yes, driving a car gets you from point A to point B quickly. But it doesn’t exactly add exercise to your day. Converting your bike to incorporate a motor lets you balance working out with ease of use. Plus, even though it’s powered, it’s still a step forward for the environment.
- Easier time climbing hills. Hills are the scourge of bikers, especially in an urban setting. Unlike mountain climbing, it’s challenging to get the momentum needed to make ascending less work. An e-bike conversion kit can help you weather hills on par with San Francisco without breaking a sweat.
- Retrofits your existing bike. It takes time to get familiar with the handling of a bike, and many dedicated riders prefer to stick to the tried and true. An e-bike conversion kit lets you hold onto your existing bike while still adding value to its performance.
- Much less expensive. All it takes is a passing glance at the price of premade e-bikes to send most running towards an e-bike conversion kit. They are drastically more affordable than getting a new ride; and, though they add weight, the power of the motor usually makes up the difference.
- Safe on the road. E-bike conversion kits are about more than gaining momentum and riding without encumbrance. They incorporate safeguards, including braking override and well-calibrated throttles. Paired with responsible use, these e-bike conversion kits can help keep you road-ready and safe.
Though it only hit the market in 2003, Bafang quickly grew into one of the leading suppliers of electronics in the mobility sector. With manufacturing in China and service centers everywhere from the United States to the Netherlands, it has a well-established global supply chain. Offering everything from complete systems to electronic components, it is a proud supplier of advanced human-machine interface technology. In terms of e-bike conversion kits, its Bafang 48V 750W Mid Drive Electric Bike Conversion Kit stands out as one of the best.
Yescom USA launched as a direct-to-consumer e-business in 2002. Located in California, it got its start as an e-retailer of cell phone accessories. Today, it is a thriving and growing online retailer of a wide variety of products, including the Yescom Hiking 50mm 10x Binoculars, the Yescom 10'x20' Waterproof Ez Pop Up Canopy Tent Shelter, and much more.
Dedicated to environmental causes and focusing exclusively on electric bike solutions, L-Faster is the eco-friendly rebrand of GS Vehicle Accessory Company. Offering a range of products, its supplies include hub, mid-, and side-drive motor kits. Reasonably priced and effective, this brand has built a reputation for variety and affordability. One of its most cost-effective and user-friendly options is the L-Faster Electric Bike Conversion Kit.
E-Bike Conversion Kit Pricing
- $100 to $200: You can get some reasonably-powered motors and all the hardware needed to equip your bike with selections in this price range. Generally, these will only include the conversion kit tech—not the wheel or tire.
- $200 to $500: If your kit is going to come with the wheel, not just the electric components, then expect the price tag to fall in this category. Most have quality motors and come with everything you need for setup. It’s particularly important to check compatibility at this price point since the wheel is typically included.
- $500 and up: There are many impressive conversion kits in this price range, complete with the best tech and powerful motors. However, if you end up finding a conversion kit with a high price tag, consider whether it would be better to opt for a pre-made e-bike.
The most essential part of any e-bike conversion kit is its motor. You can find both brushed and brushless motors. The latter enables higher power, though it tends to be more expensive. Brushed motors also create more noise than their brushless counterparts. It also contributes to energy efficiency, which, since these systems run on batteries, is a really important consideration. Brushless motors, however, are preferable since they are less prone to wear and tear and tend to pack more of a punch.
In order to get the benefits of your e-bike, it needs to have sufficient power to get the job done. In most cases, 250 watts won’t be sufficient when dealing with steep inclines. Conversely, 1,000 watts or higher runs the risk of hitting speeds beyond the legal limits. Though the weight of the system counteracts some of that extra power, you must factor in your surroundings when picking the right wattage. More strain on the bike means you need higher wattage. A light commute means you can get by with a low-wattage system.
Though most e-bike conversion kits don’t include batteries, it remains a critical consideration. For starters, the voltage needs to be compatible with the motor, lest you burn out the circuitry before even hitting the road. The battery powers range between 24 and 48 volts, with the amount of voltage being proportionate to the wattage. Consider the power demands and the battery lifespan. Higher power motors drain batteries more quickly, but they move faster. Lower-power motors move more slowly but extend battery life. The tradeoff between battery life and power is an essential feature to consider.
Unless you’re a wiring savant, you’ll likely want an e-bike conversion kit that comes with instructions and an intuitive layout. Though the wiring is fairly straightforward, it requires a bit of effort and a lot of hardware. Depending on whether the conversion kit includes a wheel, you’ll need different hardware. If it doesn’t come with the wheel, be sure that your set comes with throttle controls, the motor, the wiring setup, a mounting plate, and all the nuts and bolts to get it in place.
- Compatibility. Anytime you retrofit a piece of sports equipment, you have to make sure the new parts fit. E-bike conversion kits are no different. Many of them are universally compatible, whereas other models are designed for specific bikes. Take a moment and check that the kit will work with your existing bike before you move onto other considerations.
- Legal Aspects. The definition of e-bikes was adjusted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2002. It specifies the maximum speed a bike can travel relying only on motor power. Keep in mind that individual states can also impact the rules of the road. Be sure you are familiar with the regulations in your area.
- Weight and Balance. It’s no secret that adding hardware to your bike also adds bulk and weight. The power of the motor compensates for any slowdown, but it still has impact on your bike’s frame in terms of weight distribution. Especially if you are getting a high-powered motor, be sure that your bike’s frame can handle the demand.
- Available Warranties. Some conversion kits come with a limited manufacturer’s warranty, but make sure to read the fine print. These are almost always exclusive to defects with the product, which usually would be covered under a return policy. The warranty is a failsafe if something arrives in poor condition, but it isn’t insurance against damage from wear and tear (where most damage occurs). Take warranty offerings with a grain of salt.
- Bike Applications. Think about what kind of terrain you’ll be navigating. Are you planning on hilly mountain excursions or a slow and steady commute to work? Depending on the pressures your bike will encounter, you’ll need a different type of kit. Finding the best-suited e-bike conversion kit will prevent premature wear and tear and make sure you reap the most advantages from your new equipment.
Best E-Bike Conversion Kits Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Always check to see whether or not a conversion kit comes with a battery; many do not, and you’ll have to purchase one separately.
- Some e-bike conversion kits are better for rough riding or mountain biking, in particular, so look for specialized options if you have a favorite biking style.
- A kit’s motor wattage determines how much speed you can achieve. Higher wattage equals more speed, while lower wattage is best for cruising.
Q: Are e-bike conversion kits worth it?
A: It depends on what you want out of the e-bike and the conversion kit motor. Yes, an e-bike conversion kit will add some weight, but if it’s properly distributed and the motor has sufficient wattage, the extra power compensates. The bike might be heavier to lift, but it will make hills and long trips more efficient.
Q: Are e-bike conversion kits legal?
A: It is perfectly legal to apply an e-bike conversion kit to a street bike, provided the speed rating falls within the legal limit. In the United States, class one and two vehicles can be assisted to up to 20 miles per hour. A class three model with pedal-assist but no throttle, you can legally get up to 28 miles per hour.
Q: Is it cheaper to build your own bike?
A: In terms of whole bikes overall, it’s a safer bet to go with a premade model, especially if you’re on a budget. It is, however, cheaper to build up your ride with an e-bike conversion kit rather than purchasing a fully assembled electronic bike.
Q: How fast does a 1,000-watt electric bike go?
A: You can technically reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour at max throttle, well beyond the street-legal limit. However, when used on trails, the extra power can lend a big assist when handling hill-heavy trails. Even when it comes to pavement with steep inclines, the max mileage reduces due to the motor’s strain when handling the angle.
Q: Can I convert the bike I currently have?
A: Just about any bike can be converted into an electric bicycle with an e-bike conversion kit. More complex bikes with intricate gear systems may be a bit trickier to work with, but with a quality kit, any bike can begin running on electric power.
Q: What does it take to install an e-bike kit?
A: Most electric bicycle conversion kits include all the parts and pieces you’ll need for installation. However, you may need to purchase a battery separately to power your new e-bike. You’ll also want to have a variety of tools on hand, like wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers.
Q: How much does it cost to convert a bike to electric?
A: The cost of e-bike conversion kits varies quite a bit. It depends on a few different factors, like the items that come with the kit, how powerful the motor is, and whether or not a battery is included. Kits can range anywhere from $100 to $1,000.
Ready to ride your bike in effortless style? The Yescom Front Wheel E-Bike Conversion Kit is a high-powered option that works both for mountain climbing and urban riding. If budget is your focus, the value of the L-Faster Electric Bike Conversion Kit makes it a worthy pick. No matter what your riding style is, there’s an e-bike conversion kit to bring your ride into the modern world.